Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Three down, one to go

Just returned from the Customer exam. Well, I had lunch, then returned.

This was an odd exam -- totally open-book, open-note, open-laptop (but no internet). Our other three exams were three hours apiece, but this was four, since it also involved reading a long case. This was the only course that didn't provide previous years' exams as study materials, so it was a little hard to know what to study.

The solution: "Prepare," instead of "study." We learned some quantitative methods, so I went over those. One was called "conjoint analysis," which is a way to measure which attributes of a product are most important to customers by asking surveys in a particular way and then doing regressions on the results. Another was calculating "customer lifetime value," which is the amount of money a customer is worth over his life with a company. And the third was calculating economic value, which is pretty intuitive ... it's pricing a product properly according to other comparable products, plus added benefits.

Beyond those ideas, the rest of the class was about frameworks and cases. All in all, nothing to sweat about. It was actually pretty fun, which is good news, since I may end up doing something marketing related this summer.

Tomorrow: Sourcing & Managing Funds, our last exam, and the one that will probably be the hardest. Followed by a champagne toast in the hallway (true!) and some sushi, and then probably more drinking.

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